Welcome to my blog, we're talking about quilting and other good stuff. I'm glad you stopped by ... look around, add a comment, become a follower if you feel inclined, tell your friends about me, and come back soon!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

My solids challenge

I'm moving right along with my solids challenge quilt, I think I've got it licked! 

You're looking at the piece I posted a couple days ago with another piece attached to the bottom edge - that's a keeper.  I wanted to bring out the black zigzags on the red background, so I made red-and-black wavy fabric pieces to attach; I think it adds a little something to the design.  

Next I'll join the blue piece with the red and black piece, add them to the right-hand side and do some minor trimming. 

I'm thinking I'll add that red strip across the top... blue strip at the bottom?  That blue on the right sort of sticks out, how shall I corral it into the overall design?  and what shall I do with the left side? Decisions, decisions...

Sew forth and sew on til later

Monday, June 27, 2011

Back on track

Three things to be happy about:
(1) This
(2) That
(3) The other

Hi all, I'm back on track in two areas - I finally got a monitor I can live with, yaaaay!  It's a 23", which is the first size I chose, but it's also a Gateway, which is the brand that came with my PC in the first place.  I'm happy enough.

Second area, I got back on track with my Solids Challenge ... it occurred to me that I'm not trying to recreate the painting - I'm being inspired by it!  After that epiphany [notice the big word!], I could move just a little bit out of the box I had put myself into. 

For a reminder, here's the Matisse I'm using for inspiration:

Here's my first attempt:

It looks nothing like the painting, right? This little piece is what you see through the doorway... the middle part.  I'm using the colors and generally picking up some of the shapes.  And also notice that, for my pieced version, I rotated it counter-clockwise!  That black strip next to the two yellows is a wee bit wider than I meant, but what the heck, it's art!  I'm an artiste while I'm doing this one, so I get to take artistic license.

At this point the first area is about 8" wide; to meet the challenge, the finished piece will be 15". I'll add more blues, reds, maybe some orange and more black in there someplace.  Some white and/or off-white too.

I thought about changing to a Kandinsky because his work has so much movement, but I think I'll hang with Matisse and challenge myself to work with this one - doing it my style! 

So forth and sew on til later

Saturday, June 25, 2011

When technology goes kablooey...

Hi all my blog-mates....

My PC monitor quit on me and I'm trying to get another one I can live with.  My original monitor was a 19" flat screen that was more-or-less square; I'm from the old school so that suited me just fine. 

Got a new one from Best Buy yesterday - 23" wide-screen - couldn't stand it after an hour, everything was so BIG so I took it back this morning.

Got another one - 18.5" wide screen - can't stand it , can't get it adjusted and it's too small anyway so I'll have to take it back on Monday.  Today is Caribbean celebration day which means some streets are closed, AND they're repaving some roads in my area, so nothing is gonna make me go back out there today ... not in this traffic.

This time I'll try a 21" - I'm told the stores only carry those wide-screen monsters so I'll have to try and adjust the settings and live with it.

So til then, I'll be offline - thank goodness Best Buy dropped their ridiculous restocking fee.  Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A nice reunion

Hello everybody, hello followers!  I think we have a couple new ones, welcome, welcome!

Yesterday was a nice reunion day for me, I got a chance to have lunch with a few retirees from my agency that I haven't seen for awhile...in some cases it's been years! The members of this group have been meeting for quarterly lunches for approximately 10(?) years and, since I retired on June 3 of this year, I was the newest member. I'm in, I'm officially retired!

Yesterday's lunch was held on the lower deck of Ben's home in Upper Marlboro....
We mingled while Jerry deep-fried whiting on the deck

My friend Joyce retired about 3 years ago, see the large smile?

There was plenty of good food!

After lunch, a few of us took a walk around the huge back yard; Shirley and Valeria led an impromptu exercise routine to the music. Shake that food down!

I found this bridge interesting; it crosses over a railroad track and goes into the woods on Ben's property.  I think it's about 30-40 feet long. 
That's Jerry, Shirley, Gerry, Valeria and Michelle

Michelle and I paused in the swing porch(?) with Elois.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, maybe that would be enough to say what a wonderful time we all had. It was great reuniting with people I'd lost touch with, and seeing others I'd only gotten a chance to chat with on the phone for such a long time!

Reunions, no matter what size, are wonderful things... sew forth and sew on

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Art quilt using solids

Three things to be happy about:
(1) first day of summer
(2) perfect beach weather
(3) vibrant oil paintings

Happy Summer, everybody!  And thanks, Sue, for the suggestions on my Motown wannabe... I think it just might be after all!

I've been thinking about how to approach my solids segmented quilt swap, over on the 15 Minutes site, then I thought I'd just dive right in and see what I could do... I have more fabric after all.  The finished quilt is to be 15 x 15 and we're swapping with a partner.  Here's the Matisse I'm using for my inspiration:

I always forget to document the process!  I had gotten into it when I remembered to take this picture:

Here's the final quilt:

That green on the right is actually a dark green, not aqua. 

To me it looks sort of blah... any suggestions???  Do the colors need to be bumped up a notch??  Or do I just quilt it and call it done??

Monday, June 20, 2011

My bag

Someone asked about the "uninvited guest" at our community day on Saturday - yep it was a real bug!  I have no idea what kind it is; it had been sitting on someone's bag for a long time and I was afraid if I got too close it would fly up and "get" me.  Soon as I took the last photo, it flew away.

Jackie taught a bag-making class at our Bee a couple months ago and I'll show you mine.  I chose these three fabrics for three different reasons:  the piece on the left was pretty, the piece in the middle was a piece that'd go with anything, the piece on the right was ugly, for the inside.

In a nutshell I sewed the upper and lower fabrics together and fused the lining material to it...

Cut-outs so the bottom will sit flat, sew forth and sew on...

A few random width pockets on the inside... 

Ties for the end...

Here you go!
It would have been perfect if I hadn't twisted one of the straps, but who's gonna know?  I want to make a fabric button as soon as I pick up the right size shell for it. 

Someone asked to see a close-up of a block in my wickedly easy quilt, this is basically what all the blocks look like.  See the green strip?  In one block it's turned horizontal next block it's turned vertical and so forth. The blocks are made from 4-1/2" and 2-1/2" strips - check out the free pattern at http://www.byannie.com/.  One thing I noticed about this pattern - the fabric makes the quilt!  In a couple months I'll show you the finished product.

Sew forth and sew on til later...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Motown came to town

Yesterday was Community Day at the rec center, and the Wee Bee's got to show our Motown challenge quilts!  Here's mine:
Superstition, by Stevie Wonder!  If you can see it in the right closeup, I quilted black cats in the border.  I wanted to do 13 but there wasn't room for the size cat I used.

Our Bee made this quilt as a surprise for the center director, he was quite pleased.  I always like to see how, when we each do a block that's not preselected with no other guidelines except the size, how they all come together so well into one quilt!

The crowds were a little thin from previous years, but everybody who came had a great time.  There was music, dancing and bingo (I think) inside the center, a sound stage outside, and plenty of food.  The kids were having a great time on the moon bounce.

Our first visitor...

Our uninvited visitor...

And a horse named Ceasar ...
You can't see it, but he's wearing a cute little police department badge around his neck. But you can see his big feet:

I thought Clydesdales were used primarily for draught horses but he's a police horse.  With feet that large he can do pretty much what he wants to, I reckon.

We had a "quilt airing" of course, here are a few shots:

Patty K's Old Tobacco Road came out nicely

Here are a few of the other Motown quilts:
ABC 123 (Michael Jackson); The Tears of a Clown (Smokey Robinson); not sure of the third one - WeeBees, help me out!

 We also had Zentangle demos - Yetunde makes it look so easy!
Charlene caught on quickly!

A lot of my quilt pictures came out so fuzzy I didn't want to use em; what's up with my camera?  Anyway, that was my version of yesterday, hope you enjoyed it  :o)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Motown wannabe

Remember the block I sliced and diced for my 15 minutes play last week?  I sliced it again for another round of play...

This time I used the pieces for the starting point of a crazy pieced block...

In my opinion, now it just looks ordinary.  Oh well, that's how you play!

As you know, I completed a Motown quilt challenge for my Bee which will be unveiled today at the Michigan Park Rec Center's community day.  Our challenge was to choose a Motown song and make a quilt that portrayed that song.  You might remember that I kept changing my mind about which song I wanted to do; tomorrow I'll show you my entry, plus the viewer's choice, but for now I'd like to show you the one that I did NOT do:

Dancing in the Street by Martha & the Vandellas!  It would have been a nice quilt but for some reason I could NOT decide what to do for the sides of the quilt.  I made the silhouette and fused it to black fabric, then I used needle and thread to draw the brick street they're dancing on - time consuming, but that was the easy part. 

But I was blocked when it came to doing the sides... would there be cars parked there?  would there be shrubbery?  flower carts, a dog , an orchestra? a store front?  I think if I had made the street wider I'd have had more options because it has to narrow as it goes up; that perspective thing, you know. 

I put too much work into this one to just toss it aside, so I intend to figure this out.  But since my time was running out and I had to do SOMETHING, I switched to another song. 

Tomorrow I'll show you the one I did; sew forth and sew on...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Something from nothing...

That's what this is!  Remember the pile of strings I trimmed from my wickedly easy blocks?  The ones I started to toss away?  This is what they looked like in reality:

I started sewing them, skinny as they were, between 1-1/2" and 2-1/2" strips just to see what they'd look like.  I had no idea how I'd use them, but when I laid a few of them side-by-side I was surprised at how nice they looked...

So, I started sewing the strips together, again just to see how they'd look, and before I knew it I had made these five blocks...

Not bad for something rescued from the trash! 

Sew forth and sew on til later...